Over the course of the next Christian year, which just started with Advent, I’ll be reading through two books. The first is Joan Chittister’s The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life. As you might expect, the book moves through the various liturgical seasons, but it begins with several chapters meditating on the meaning of the liturgical year and how it differs from the secular calendar. That’s what I’m enjoying about the book so far: more than simply imparting information about the seasons, Chittister gives us contemplative reflections on the meaning of the year and its constituent parts. I imagine I’ll be sharing quotations from the book throughout the year here on the blog. Here’s one to start off:

The liturgical year is the year that sets out to attune the life of the Christian to the life of Jesus, the Christ. It proposes, year after year, to immerse us over and over again into the sense and substance of the Christian life until, eventually, we become what we say we are—followers of Jesus all the way to the heart of God.

The second book is Gregory Fruehwirth’s Words for Silence: A Year of Contemplative Meditations. Fruehwirth is the Superior of the Episcopal Order of Julian of Norwich (yes, that means he’s an Episcopal monk). The book is a revised series of chapter talks that Fruehwirth has given to the Order, now organized according to the seasons of the Christian year. I’ll also share occasional quotations from this book.

Is there anything you’re reading that helps you follow the seasons of the liturgical year?

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